Definitive Healthcare (NASDAQ: DH) and Elevance Health (NYSE: ELV) may not be household names, but these two healthcare stocks in the Russell 1000 Index are prime examples of breakout growth stocks that investors should be considering.
Other than their strong prospects, the two stocks aren’t much alike. Definitive, founded in 2010, is a relatively new small-cap company that isn’t consistently profitable yet — and its shares are down over 70% this year. Elevance Health is a large-sized insurer founded in 1946 and its stock is actually up about 4% in 2022.
Let’s dive in and see what makes both stocks promising today.
1. Definitive Healthcare simplifies medical sales
Definitive Healthcare just went public last year through an initial public offering, but many of its clients are big players in healthcare, such as AbbVie, Siemens Healthineers, and AstraZeneca.
Definitive specializes in providing commercial medical analytics and has already built up a little moat due to its early mover status. Its data-as-a-service products aggregate information to help corporate customers efficiently make sales in the complex healthcare market. Healthcare companies use Definitive’s data to improve their marketing spending or speed commercialization of their products.
Not all of Definitive’s more than 2,900 customers are healthcare companies. One, for example, was an ice machine company looking to identify hospitals and ambulatory centers that could use its services.
Definitive Healthcare’s strength has been its ability to get its customers to continue their subscriptions and to add Definitive’s proprietary services. While the company’s shares have suffered, falling sharply this year, its financials paint a more promising picture.
In the third quarter, the company reported revenue of $57.4 million, up 33% year over year, with a net loss of $6.4 million, an improvement over the net loss of $21 million it showed in the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 13.8% year over year to $16.4 million.
The company’s continued growth is impressive, considering that many healthcare companies have scaled back spending in recent months. Its adjusted gross margin is huge — 89% in the third quarter. The combination of high revenue growth and high profitability is why I like the company’s long-term prospects. Its full-year guidance anticipates revenue between $220 million and $221 million, up 32% to 33% over last year.
2. Growth is consistent with Elevance Health
Elevance Health, which changed its name from Anthem in May, is a health insurer whose companies serve more than 118 million people. Its revenue growth has been buoyed by an aggressive merger and acquisition strategy.
The company’s most recent purchase is specialty pharmacy BioPlus, which focuses on patients with complex conditions, including cancer. The new company will be under the wing of CarelonRx, formerly IngenioRx, one of Elevance’s companies. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close early in 2023, were not disclosed.
Elevance’s stock is up about 4% so far this year, far better than the market’s performance. The company has increased revenue by 160% over the past decade and by 45% over the past three years. In the third quarter, the company reported revenue of $39.9 billion, up 11.5% year over year; net income of $1.6 billion, up 7.4%; and earnings per share (EPS) of $6.68, up 9%.
Rare for a company with such strong growth, it offers a respectable quarterly dividend, which it raised this year by 13% to $1.28. That’s the 11th consecutive year it has boosted its dividend, which current yields around 1.07%.
The company also expanded its full-year guidance, saying it now expects EPS of more than $25 per share. Through nine months, it reported revenue of $116.6 billion, showing it is on track for its 12th consecutive year of revenue growth. It also has had nine consecutive quarters of revenue growth.
What I like about Elevance is that it isn’t afraid of utilizing its size. While some healthcare giants have scaled back to streamline their operations, Elevance has consistently shown strong management skills in being able to absorb new companies and then using the advantage of its size and scale.
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